Reflection height of daytime tweek atmospherics during the solar eclipse of 22 July 2009

Hiroyo Ohya, Fuminori Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Nakata, Kazuo Shiokawa, Yoshizumi Miyoshi, Kozo Yamashita, Yukihiro Takahashi

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11 Citations (Scopus)


We report multipoint observations of daytime tweek atmospherics during the solar eclipse of 22 July 2009. Sixteen and sixty-three tweek atmospherics were observed at Moshiri and Kagoshima, Japan, where the magnitudes of the solar eclipse were 0.458 and 0.966, respectively. This was the first observation of tweek atmospherics during a low-magnitude eclipse (0.458). The average and standard deviation of the reflection height were 94.9 13.7km at Moshiri and 87.2 12.9km at Kagoshima. The reflection height at Moshiri was almost the same as that for normal nighttime conditions in July (96.7 12.6km) in spite of the low magnitude of the eclipse. The reflection height at Kagoshima seems be divided into two parts: propagation across the total solar eclipse path and propagation in the partial solar eclipse path. During the eclipse, we also observed the phase variation in the LF transmitter signals. The average change in the phase delay of the LF signals was 109 for the paths that crossed the eclipse path and 27 for the paths that did not cross the eclipse path. Assuming a normal daytime height for LF waves of 65km, a ray tracing analysis indicates that the variations in phase correspond to a height increase of 5-6km for the paths across the eclipse and 1-2km for partial eclipse paths. The wide range of estimated tweek reflection heights at Kagoshima also suggests a difference in electron density in the lower ionosphere between total and partial solar eclipses.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA11310
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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